'The Farm', Tom Rob Smith
More psychological thriller than crime novel, award-winning author Tom Rob Smith’s latest offering, 'The Farm', takes us on an internal journey to the heart of a modern family, as its main protagonists – father, mother, and son – struggle to come to terms with their dysfunctional relationships, strained loves, and neglected obligations.
As the son attempts to see through his own misinterpretations to the bedrock of his family’s relationships, 'The Farm' evolves into a disquieting, often sad and confronting dialogue, written in terse and clipped sentences which almost have an air of translation about them. His search will take him to dark places, and force him to face some harsh truths. From the frozen fields of Sweden, to the cold glass constructs of modern London, he will be driven to confront a series of increasingly difficult questions about our willingness to trust blindly, to love unconditionally, and to accept that which we simply cannot change.
Not a novel for the faint hearted, and standing apart from his previous work, this is a thought-provoking tale which casts Smith in whole a new light.
'The Farm' by Tom Rob Smith will be published in hardcover by Simon & Schuster on 6 March 2014.
A version of this review first appeared in The Big Issue Australia on 7 February 2014.